Unless you have been living under a rock over the past few years, you will likely have heard of the phrase’ data science’. Perhaps you have seen it listed as a university course, or maybe you are a business owner who has heard it is a fantastic way to improve the efficiency of your business.
Whatever the case, it is important to develop a rounded understanding of what data science is, bust some myths, understand its compelling benefits, and see whether it might even be a viable career path for you.
Of course, like many fields of thought or science, data science can come across as impenetrable at first. There is no shortage of buzzwords, jargon, or complex terminology, which can cause your mind to glaze over if you are not careful.
That is why you need to go back to basics and understand the core fundamentals of what data science is, why it is so prevalent these days, and how it might become useful to you.
So, without further ado, here is a short beginner’s guide to understanding the data science field:
What is data science?
Essentially, data science is, as the name suggests, a multidisciplinary field that collects and processes data to extract meaningful insights, trends, patterns, and other useful information that can be applied in a particular field – whether that is business, politics, or social science.
Data scientists use various techniques to extract and process large data sets, including elements of computer science, statistics, and machine learning to make sense of the information they find.
This is important to so many data science clients because the scientists can formulate predictions about the behavior of certain demographic groups, consumers, or markets, which can be used to improve decision-making.
Often, the data that they collect is useless or too spurious on its own. Only when it is combined with vast amounts of other data, and then run through their scientific processes can meaningful conclusions be made.
Often, these data scientists work within a data science agency on behalf of clients to understand trends in particular markets.
Understanding data collection and cleaning
There are countless different ways that data can be collected – from the checkout funnel on business websites to surveys, cookies, social media, Internet searches, IoT devices, and a whole host more.
However, the vast amount of information that this dredges up is useless and impenetrable without the right techniques for cleaning and processing this data. For example, data scientists might use exploratory data analysis to understand a dataset’s primary characteristics, establish initial patterns, and create relationships between seemingly unrelated data.
There are also machine learning techniques, which are essentially computational methods that can predict how present or future data will perform based on previous data.
How can it help your business?
Of course, all this is well and good, but how can it help your business? Well, it can be done in several crucial ways. Firstly, it can help you make more informed decisions quickly, which is vital when you are in a fast-paced market and can’t afford to make ill-fated decisions. Secondly, it can help you to understand your market, how customers make buying decisions, and how you can better market your products and services.